Rockaway will never get the respect it deserves unless we can show respect to people who are coming to help us. Sure, we may be frustrated but if we cannot find a way to control our emotions, we need to pass the microphone to the next public speaker. If we are just getting up to “vent,” who is going to take us seriously? We say that we want a seat at the table where strategic decisions are made, but who the heck will want to invite us if we behave like we’re one piling short of a full bulkhead?
I was embarrassed for Rockaway at the treatment given Daniel Falt, the guest speaker from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at last night’s Community Board 14 meeting. I also hung my head in shame a couple of weeks ago when Liam Kavanagh, Assistant Parks Commissioner was verbally attacked by attendees at a meeting hosted by the Friends of Rockaway Beach. Folks, no matter how much we may disagree with these representatives or their agencies, there is no excuse for our bad behavior.
And another thing while I am up here…while we live by the beach, most of us are not engineers. We may think we know something about the solution to our beach erosion and storm protection problem, but a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. We don’t know what we don’t know. What seems like an obvious fix to many of us, like the use of groins (jetties), may create other unforeseen problems. We really need to look at the big picture and more importantly, listen to the experts before forming an opinion based on hearsay or emotion. If I have to choose a solution between my ranting neighbor and a coastal engineer, I’m going with the expert every time.
The Parks Department has scheduled a community briefing for Thursday, February 21st at Beach Channel High School to present some information about their boardwalk and shoreline protection ideas. I can only hope that we conduct ourselves like the intelligent, respectful community we are, otherwise you can find me under my seat again.
Ideas? Send them to Ideas@ideasimprov.com